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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland File image of an ESB electric vehicle charge point.
# Transport
'Ridiculously low': Just 33 public EV charge points in 3 counties approved under govt scheme
The scheme was first announced in 2019.

JUST 33 PUBLIC electric vehicle charge points have been approved under a scheme announced three years ago that was intended to develop up to 200 charge points per annum. 

There are a number of grants available to help people buy electric vehicles and set up charging stations at home. 

But one scheme for public charging points on streets or in car parks has had little take-up among local authorities, figures show. 

Under the scheme, local authorities receive a grant to cover three-quarters of the cost – up to €5,000 – per charge point put in place.

  • Read more here on how you can support a major Noteworthy project to investigate the rollout of electric vehicles in Ireland.

Only three local authorities have signed up to the on-street public charge point scheme so far with Louth County Council getting the all-clear for the highest number of charge points (20) of any council in the scheme.

Dublin City Council with nine charge points and Tipperary County Council with four were the other two counties that made applications under the scheme.  

The grant scheme figures were provided by Environment and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan in a recent parliamentary question from Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore. 

Whitmore criticised the “ridiculously low” number of councils that have taken up on the scheme.

“It’s astounding actually how low the pick-up is on it,” the TD told The Journal. 

“This scheme has been running for a few years now and the take-up on it has always been low. 

This is another target that the government has set that it’s not delivering on.

She said the “infrastructure is not there at the moment” for the government to achieve its target of getting one million electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030. 

More than 80% of EV charging is expected to happen at home and most users will “never need to access the public network except for longer journeys”, Minister Eamon Ryan said in his PQ response. 

But he added that a “seamless public charging network” is needed to facilitate non-residential neighbourhood charging alongside charging in different locations including on motorways.

A revised version of the public charge point scheme is likely to be launched after publication of the EV Infrastructure Strategy which is due out later this year. 

A new draft national charging infrastructure strategy highlighted a number of changes that could be made to better support local authorities such as funding capital costs for civil and electric works and charge point installation. 

Minister Ryan also said there will be a “significant increase in funding” for public charging points later this year. 

EVs in Ireland

new grant scheme was announced last week to support people living in apartments and other places without a driveway to access charge points for electric vehicles. 

There are currently more than 41,000 EVs and plug-in hybrids driven in Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland has said. 

Just over one in five new cars licensed up to June this year were electric or plug-in hybrids, according to the Central Statistics Office.   

By 2030, emissions from transport should have decreased by between 42% and 50% to stay in line with current targets. 

The Transport Minister said the government is committed to supporting a “significant expansion and modernisation” of the EV charging network in the next few years.

The ESB operates more than 1,350 public charge points across the island of Ireland. 

The public point charge scheme was first introduced by then-Environment Minister Richard Bruton in August 2019.

It was intended to deliver up to 1,000 additional charging points over a five year period with up to 200 points developed each year.

In a statement at the time, Bruton said the investment intended to “give people the confidence to make the switch” to electric vehicles. 

Minister Eamon Ryan made the first approvals for funding under the scheme in July 2021 when the Louth and Dublin applications were given the green light. 

The scheme is managed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. 

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